Wells’ 3-run double keys Milton’s 5-1 Major League tourney win over M.O.T.

MILFORD — Noah Wells celebrated his birthday by coming off the bench and slamming a clutch bases-clearing double in the fifth inning to power Milton to a 5-1 victory over M.O.T. in the Major League baseball state tournament on Tuesday night.

The three-run double, which scored Bryce Dominick, Nolan Barry and Jase Mitchell, capped a five-run bottom of the fifth inning and propelled two-time defending state champion Milton (2-0) into Thursday night’s state finals at Milford Little League.

With the loss, M.O.T. (0-1) will face Newark National (0-1) in tonight’s elimination game.

It feels pretty good,” Wells said. “I just wanted to get a base hit and score a run.”

“It’s really cool for Noah to come through with a big hit like that and to give us those insurance runs, especially on his birthday,” said Milton manager Paris Mitchell. “It’s a cool story because he’s one of our 11-year-olds, so he’s one of our younger kids, but he’s also one of our role players.

“That’s his role, he’s an offensive weapon for us. He hasn’t played a single inning in the field yet, but he’s come through with some big-time hits and some big-time offensive at-bats for us. I couldn’t be more proud that he was one of our two stars of the night.”

The night’s other star, Jayceon White, tossed 5.2 innings and struck out six M.O.T. batters before Bryce Dominick stepped in and recorded the final out to close out the victory in the top of the sixth inning.

“I basically just wanted to shut them down, give them the least amount of runs possible and then I wanted our bats to come out and score a couple of runs to get me a lead to work with,” White said. “I knew most of those guys can hit, so I wanted to keep it away from them and hit the corners and keep everything low.”

“It’s a great feeling, as a coaching staff, to know that whoever we put up there on the mound we’re going to get a quality effort out of,” Mitchell said. “Jayceon’s just been a bulldog for us, for Milton Little League, for years. He’s an unassuming, smaller kid but he goes up there and he grinds. I’m very proud of him.”

Matching up with White on the other side of the field was M.O.T. starting pitcher Logan Taylor, who threw a scoreless four innings before Milton’s five-run explosion in the fifth.

“He threw fast,” White said of his opponent.

Taylor finished the game with eight strikeouts, but Milton broke the 0-0 deadlock with a pair of runs on an error and then Wells’ double broke the game open.

M.O.T. answered with one run in the top of the sixth before Dominick forced a game-ending fielder’s choice to earn the 5-1 win.

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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